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Showing posts from November, 2010

A Craic-ing Good Time

Saturday 6 November A lovely sunshine and showers morning. The view from the house is stunning. To Lidl to buy provisions for weekend. At the till the cashier confiscates all alcohol. None to be sold before 10.30 or 12 noon on Sundays and St Patrick’s Day. Drive up Connor Pass to see the view on a clear day – breathtaking. Then back down to Supervalu for papers and now legal alcohol. Ma is filled with the urge to visit the hairy jumper shop again to find one for herself. She is assisted by a prim and rather fierce-looking woman of about her age. They bond over widowhood. ‘Why are Irish people so happy?’ Ma says, a bit in love with all things Irish. ‘Well, mainly, it’s the drugs,’ says the assistant without blinking. ‘But what about the luck of the Irish?’ presses Ma. ‘Well, I don’t know about that,’ says the assistant. ‘This week I’ve already blowed up me hoover and me food processor.’ Ma suggests she needs a win on the lotto. ‘Ah,’ says the assistant. ‘I’ve thought ab

Waterstone's Carmarthen: Round Two!

‘And you’ve got Matthew Rhys in today too, haven’t you?’ I observe. ‘Er. No,’ says Lovely Tim, ‘that was a mistake on the website. But we do have a lady from The Coal House.’ Introduce myself to Lady From The Coal House who asks me how long I’ve worked in Waterstone’s. Wander back to my table and get asked (1) where the dictionaries are (2) if I would like to buy a CD (3) did I really write my book? Despite stiff competition from Sleb biogs which seem to be high on customer Christmas lists, I do manage to sell some copies of Turning the Tide. In addition I meet some lovely people and one very cute dog (looking for a copy of ‘Scents and Sensibility’, no doubt. Or ‘The House at Poo Corner'.) Thanks very much to the staff at Waterstone’s and everyone who stopped to chat.

Ireland Snapshots: A Spot of Tea (but no Craic)

The view from the Connor Pass was worth waiting for! Thursday 4 November Heavy rain thickens the mist so we drive to Tralee, but find no roses just an everyday working town. Just to add a little extra excitement we decide to take the Connor Pass home. Several large signs in different languages advise lorry drivers to turn back NOW! The high, narrow mountain pass links Dingle Town in the south to Kilcummin on the North coast and as we climb it feels as if someone has definitely taken the road in. There are steep rocky slopes one side, sheer drops on the other and the visibility is almost nil due to dense low cloud. Ma enjoys it. In the evening Tom and I go for a walk along the breakwater. It’s still raining but the mist has cleared and the sea is a beautiful turquoise grey. Out and about in Dingle Friday 5 November Great excitement! Although it’s still raining, we can actually see The Three Sisters range opposite the house! We head for Killarney, this time driving along

Ireland Snapshots: Fishguard to Dingle

Tuesday 2 November It’s a little before 2.45 am when the ferry sets off from Fishguard on a cold, gusty night with the winds set to touch gale force 8. With Ma sandwiched between Tom and me as we climb up from the car decks, I watch her gamely tackle the steep stairs. Her fragile back is even more delicate these days, but she never falters, never holds anyone up and never complains. And whilst I’m fretting to myself about the after-effects of such a long journey for her, Ma’s as excited as a six-year-old. Despite the terrible forecast, I’m surprised that I barely notice the motion of the ferry, or maybe I’ve been hardened by years of being thrown around in a small boat. The crossing is uneventful and we spill out into a wet, Irish dawn and take breakfast in the coldest cafe in the world. Ma laughs when I invite her to sit by the radiator which, we find is turned off. Then it’s a race to eat our full Irish breakfast as it chills on freezing cold plates. view from the holiday

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Look at this view! I was standing on the hill just above this little bay watching thirty foot waves smash against the cliffs. Ireland was so beautiful - more to report in due course, but today I'm over at Choc Lit's Author Corner writing about how to get those writing ideas flowing.

West to Far West

We're taking Ma for a much-needed break. None of us have visited the far west of Ireland before, but here's the current forecast for tonight's crossing... 'Lundy Fastnet Irish Sea: South or southwest veering west or southwest 5 to 7, occasionally 4 at first, increasing gale 8 at times in Irish Sea. Moderate or rough, occasionally very rough in Fastnet. Rain or showers. Good, occasionally poor.' Gulp! Painting is 'November Sea' by Tom Tomos